Ultimate List of Prepper Skills

prepper skill list

Skills will carry us far and wide. The more skills we know, the less reliant on gear we are. While I love gear and I think gear is certainly helpful, skills will last a lifetime, as long as you practice often.

Most skills can be practiced right at home, in your backyard or at a local park. There may be some skills in which you need to go to a specific place to practice such as fishing or hunting, but in general, many skills can be practiced right at home or at a local park.

Don’t worry about failing, either. In fact, like with most things, you won’t be perfect right off the bat. Practice often and give it time. Think of it as a journey, each time you do it, the better you’re getting.

In reality, nobody will ever be perfect at anything, there are always so many variables that take part, including our mindset.

So the more we practice, the stronger foundation we’ll create and the better off we’ll be.

Practice now so the skill is available to you when you need it most, like in the middle of a crisis.

These skills will be a mix between survival, bushcraft, homesteading and preparedness skills.

Download this list below in PDF format so you can print and have on hand as a guide.

Here’s the ultimate list of prepper skills

  1. Get a book on wild foraging and regularly go foraging for wild edibles 
  2. Learn how to track animals 
  3. Learn how to trap animals 
  4. Go hunting with a rifle or bow 
  5. Learn how to fish and go fishing 
  6. Learn how to field dress, butcher and cook wild game 
  7. Learn how to grow a garden 
  8. Learn how to harvest and store seeds 
  9. Learn how to breed and raise animals / livestock 
  10. Learn techniques for cooking outdoors on a fire  
  11. Learn to can foods, sauces, jams, etc 
  12. Learn to can foods off grid (Hint: use your BBQ!) 
  13. Learn to dehydrate food
  14. Learn how to make cheese 
  15. Learn how to churn butter 
  16. Be familiar with proper nutrition and your specific nutritional needs 
  17. Learn to distill your own vinegar
  18. Make your own apple cider vinegar 
  19. Experiment with cooking meals from your food storage 
  20. Learn to bake various types of bread 
  21. Learn to pressure can 
  22. Learn to make tortillas 
  23. Learn how to preserve eggs without refrigeration such as dehydrating, freezing, freeze drying, pickle, salt, etc.
  24. Learn how to preserve through pickling 
  25. Learn various preservation methods such as salting, honey, drying, root cellar, canning, fermenting, smoking, zeer pot, underground fridge, etc.
  26. Learn how to render fats 
  27. Make pemmican 
  28. Make jerky
  29. Make a homemade MRE 
  30. Learn to spear fish/bowfish 
  31. Learn how to smoke food on and off grid 
  32. Learn to bake without an oven 
  33.  Learn to open a can without a can opener 
  34. Make tea from a wild edible, such as pine needles 
  35. Learn how to sprout from seeds 
  36. Make a fishing net 
  37. Learn to make kombucha 
  38. Make your own mead
  39. Make your own beer
  40. Make your own wine
  41. Make your own wild yeast
  42. Learn how to find water 
  43. Learn how to collect water 
  44. Learn to purify water with bleach 
  45. Learn to purify water with sand/dirt/rocks 
  46. Learn to purify water by filter/boiling 
  47. Create a rainwater collection system 
  48. Learn how to get water from your water heater 
  49. Learn about desalinating seawater 
  50. Learn about natural water containers such as bamboo, coconuts, cactus pads, etc.
  51. Research and make note of water resources outside/near your home 
  52. Build a solar still 
  53. Construct a primitive shelter 
  54. Create several different types of shelters from a tarp 
  55. Think about natural shelters in your area, such as caves 
  56. Learn the best type of shelter for cold weather and warm weather 
  57. Build a primitive bed up off the ground 
  58. Learn how to dig out and build a safe fire ring
  59. Practice making a fire using flint and steel 
  60. Practice making a fire by striking flint against flint 
  61. Practice making with just natural resources 
  62. Make a fire with a bow drill 
  63. Practice making a fire using lens based methods 
  64. Practice making a fire using batteries and steel wool 
  65. Chop wood and keep plenty on hand 
  66. Learn how to make charcoal and practice making it 
  67. Learn how to make char cloth and then practice making it 
  68. Make your own fire starters 
  69. Make waterproof matches 
  70. Test out fire making in the rain/cold/extreme heat 
  71. Test various commercial/homemade fire starters 
  72. Build a dakota fire hole
  73. Practice using a ferro rod 
  74. Light a candle with a ferro rod 
  75. Practice feather sticking 
  76. Learn to make an oil or pine sap torch 
  77. Learn to tie various knots
  78. Learn basic suturing techniques 
  79. Purchase a tourniquet and learn how to use it 
  80. Put together a first aid kit for your BOB 
  81. Put together a thorough First Aid kit for your home 
  82. Put together a first aid kit for your car 
  83. Learn about Herbal Medicine and Natural Remedies 
  84. Learn about essential oils and when and how to use them
  85. Learn how to make your own essential oils 
  86. Learn to make your own salve 
  87. Learn what to do in case of a poisonous snake bite 
  88. Learn what to do in case of shock 
  89. Learn pet CPR/first aid 
  90. Learn child CPR/first aid 
  91. Make your own bug repellent 
  92. Take a ‘stop the bleed’ course 
  93. Learn how to treat a sprain 
  94. Learn how to extract a splinter properly
  95. Learn midwifery 
  96. Learn how to properly splint a limb 
  97. Know how to carry someone who is injured
  98. Learn how to make soap 
  99. Make your own dry shampoo 
  100. Make your own baby wipes
  101. Learn to make your own deodorant 
  102. Learn to make your own lotion 
  103. Learn to make your own lip balm 
  104. Figure out alternative ways to go to the bathroom, such as with a 5 gallon bucket, outhouse, burying, etc.
  105. Figure out an alternative to traditional toilet paper, such as using reusable cloth, a bidet or even straw
  106. Learn to make your own toothpaste 
  107. Learn to make a stick toothbrush
  108. Brush up on basic dental care, such as how to temporary fill a cavity, how to relieve pain, etc. 
  109. Learn how to sew by hand 
  110. Learn how to knit 
  111. Learn how to crochet 
  112. Learn how to make things from leather
  113. Learn how to make shoes 
  114. Learn how to do laundry off-grid, such as with a 5 gallon bucket
  115. Sew cache pockets into your clothing
  116. If you have a baby or expecting, learn how to use and sew cloth diapers 
  117. Learn how to leatherwork 
  118. Learn blacksmithing
  119. Learn and practice signaling techniques
  120. Learn about CB radios and common frequencies 
  121. Get your ham license and communicate with the ham radio
  122. Build a ham go box 
  123. Learn to build your own antennas 
  124. Figure out how to make a solar system for your house
  125. Make your own wind turbine
  126. Learn how to tell if someone is lying 
  127. Learn to read body language 
  128. Learn how to talk to kids before, during and after a crisis 
  129. Make an ammo can repeater 
  130. Practice situational awareness
  131. Learn how to read a city map 
  132. Learn how to read a topographic map 
  133. Learn how to use a compass 
  134. Learn how to navigate with an analog watch 
  135. Scout new areas for useful resources 
  136. Practice prioritizing tasks 
  137. Practice determination and perseverance by not giving up on difficult tasks and following through with decisions 
  138. Practice slow, deliberate breathing to decrease stress and increase focus
  139. Practice good interpersonal skills in your day to day life 
  140. Practice problem solving 
  141. Learn how to teach others 
  142. Learn to control your emotions; anger, fear, anxiety, etc 
  143. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone 
  144. Go people watching
  145. Know how to recognize your limits to prevent emotional and physical injury 
  146. Start keeping a regular journal 
  147. Practice goal setting 
  148. Practice marksmanship with a bow 
  149. Practice marksmanship with firearms 
  150. Learn basic hand-to-hand self-defense 
  151. Learn evasion techniques 
  152. Properly maintain and clean your weapons 
  153. Practice knife throwing 
  154. Learn to use a slingshot 
  155. Then learn to make a slingshot from wood or other sources
  156. Make a bow plus the arrows from wood and/or PVC 
  157. Fortify your home security with cameras, locks, solar lights, door jams and alarms, etc. 
  158. Learn how to pick locks
  159. Learn how to break free from restraints 
  160. Learn how to make a knife 
  161. Learn how to make primitive stone tools 
  162. Learn how to tan animal hides 
  163. Whittle your own cup, spoon, etc. 
  164. Learn to find worms for fishing bait 
  165. Learn to hide human scent 
  166. Learn to make cordage from nature 
  167. Learn about natural insulation and waterproofing
  168. Learn to make a basket out of natural materials 
  169. Learn flintknapping 
  170. Learn about emergency signaling
  171. Learn how to find and make tinder from nature  
  172. Learn how to identify animal tracks 
  173. Increase your endurance by regularly walking, jogging or running 
  174. Do regular strength training with weights or gallon water jugs
  175. Stretch regularly to increase mobility and flexibility 
  176. Practice meditation for 5 minutes a day 
  177. Understand the signs of dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, fever, dysentery, hypothermia, hyperthermia, and so on.
  178. Run mock drills for blackout, tornado, fire, hurricane, earthquake, etc.
  179. Create a financial budget for weekly/monthly prepping supplies 
  180. Budget time that you can devote to prepping each day/week/month 
  181. Learn how to sharpen knives
  182. Practice negotiation skills for trading or bartering 
  183. Learn carpentry / woodworking 
  184. Learn how to weld 
  185. Learn how to do basic service on your car like an oil change
  186. Learn to make candles 
  187. Make things out of gorilla tape/duct tape 
  188. Learn how to do basic maintenance around the house 
  189. Make a maintenance kit for your bug out bag 
  190. Learn several different types of paracord weaves 
  191. Make EDC kits out of altoid tins 
  192. Make a solar charger kit out of an altoid tin 
  193. Make a fishing/hunting kit 
  194. Make a rocket stove 
  195. Learn how to camouflage yourself in the wild and urban
  196. Prepare for lights out situation in extreme heat conditions 
  197. Prepare for lights out situation in extreme cold conditions 
  198. Learn to make natural clay then make something from that clay 
  199. Learn to cut your own hair as well as others 
  200. Learn to identify good/bad snakes and spiders 
  201. Learn how to properly store gas 
  202. Test your rain gear 
  203. Practice a mock bug out from your workplace 
  204. Learn morse code 
  205. Research crime in your neighborhood 
  206. Learn about beekeeping 
  207. Learn to use non-power tools 
  208. Farm worms or crickets 
  209. Learn how to compost
  210. Learn various growing methods (container, hydroponics, indoor, etc) 
  211. Learn how and why humans do what they do and think what they think through psychology 
  212. Learn sign language and/or hand signaling 
  213. Learn how to read the weather 
  214. Learn and practice good people and communication skills 
  215. Know what you’re going to do with garbage off-grid 
  216. Learn search and rescue markings 
  217. Learn how to survive without a knife 
  218. Look for trash outside and see how you could repurpose it for survival 
  219. Learn how to climb a tree 
  220. Learn how to barricade your home from the inside 
  221. Get to know city/hurricane escape routes 
  222. Find out if there are any emergency shelters in your area 
  223. Take a walk around your neighborhood and get to know the streets, houses, escape routes, etc. 
  224. Find and make note of at least 3 escape routes that aren’t on a freeway/highway 
  225. Learn basic bike maintenance 
  226. Learn how to cut paracord without a knife 
  227. Make a knife strop 
  228. Invest in reloading equipment and learn to reload ammunition 

There may be some skills that may not apply to you right now, but keep the idea in your back pocket. If the day comes and you want to start keeping bees, well you’ve already looked into it and you won’t be so intimidated to jump into it. In fact, learning something new may actually help you realize passions for something you never realized you had.

Print this list in PDF form here!

Take your time with this list. Print it out and mark things off when you’re able to.

And don’t forget, practice practice practice! Even if it’s marked off, that doesn’t mean it’s done and gone; make the time to practice skills you’ve already acquired.

What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll get it added!

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. I didn’t see it, but perhaps you should add: Learn to swim (and teach the kids), as well as Flood situation survival (such as don’t drink the water, don’t get caught in the attic, etc.)

  2. You’ve put out a lot of good info, lists, and content lately. I commend you for the fine effort. Thank you, Charles Lynn Cbaggett.

    1. Thank you very much. I appreciate you!

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